The Canada-Russia 2007 Super Series
, junior style, kicked off Monday in Ufa, Russia, with the Canadians battling back to win 4-2. The challenge, a throwback to the 1972 Summit Series, will see the first four games in Russia and the last four in Canada, ending on Sept. 9 in Vancouver.
With their 3-0 win on Wednesday, Team Canada now has a two-game lead. The next game is Friday in Omsk, Russia.
The major difference from the series 35 years ago is that today’s squads feature junior-aged players. Many of the players representing Canada and Russia will be in Ottawa next June for the 2008 NHL entry draft and then again for the 2009 world junior championship.2008 NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa
Looking first to the 2008 draft taking place on June 20 and 21, Team Canada has the fewest players eligible at three: right-wingers Drew Doughty of the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm and Luke Schenn of the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets, and left-winger Zachary Boychuk of the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes. John Tavares of the OHL’s Oshawa Generals won’t be eligible until 2009.
Russia’s 29-man lineup is a little more difficult to review. With Russian federation still not a part of the IIHF’s transfer agreement with the NHL, teams have shied away from selecting Russian players. That being said, Russia has 16 undrafted players and three who will be age-eligible for the 2008 draft. The age-eligible prospects are defenceman Maxim Chudinov, and forwards Vyatcheslav Voynov and Nikita Filatov
.2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa
Six months after the NHL’s June draft in Ottawa, 10 countries will settle into our nation’s capital for the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.
With Canada defeating Russia for the gold medal at the last three junior events, the 2007 Super Series teams is regarded as a preview of the players who will represent their countries in Ottawa only 16 months from now.
Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1989, are eligible to play in the 2009 world juniors. Canada has nine players born in 1989 and John Tavares in 1990. The Russians have five players born in 1989 and another three in 1990.
The 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series gives hockey fans in the national capital region a glimpse of the good things to come when the 2008 NHL draft and 2009 world juniors come to Ottawa.